Japan: Consumer sentiment dives in the aftermath of the quake
April 29, 2011
Consumer confidence plunged in March, reflecting the ongoing fallout from the devastating earthquake, tsunami und nuclear crisis, even beyond the directly-affected areas. The survey, which was conducted on 15 March, showed the overall index dropped from 41.2 points in February to 38.6 points, which represents the most severe monthly decline since September 2005. A reading below 50 points indicates that pessimists outnumber optimists. The significant drop in household confidence was broad-based, as all the main categories recorded losses. In particular the overall livelihood component declined 2.6 points to 38.7 points while the willingness to buy durable goods component retreated from 42.6 points to 38.8 points. These readings add greater weight to the notion that the economy will contract in the first half of the year.